Trouble navigating with google maps?
Unable to determine your location using GPS?
If you suffer from poor GPS signal, prolonged time for fixing satellites, or GPS plain not working at all, your phone might benefit from this repair.
In this instructable, I will be using the Galaxy S4 as an example. This process should work for all phones, but the disassembly process will differ.
GPS problems on the mobile phones like the Galaxy S4 is usually due to poor contact between the circuit board and the GPS antenna. This repair aims to provide better electrical contact between the components.
In this instructable, we will use aluminum foil to increase the thickness of the contact and hence the pressure with the phone is pressed together again.
Firstly, you should determine that the GPS is truly faulty(instead of your navigation app).
1) Try using another navigation app
2) Try updating your apps
3) Download the application "GPS status" to check if your phone is able to detect any satellites and fix onto them
If you confirm that the fault lies in your GPS and not software, you may proceed to gather the following materials:
1) 2x Small clean pieces of Aluminum foil (1.5cm x 1.0cm)
2) Tweezers (good to have)
3) Clear plastic ruler (for bending small pieces of foil)
4) Small Philips head screwdriver
Lets move on to dis-assembly!
Step 1: Disassembly: Remove Back Cover, Screws, Speaker
Please refer to the pictures:
1. Remove the back cover using your fingers to pry at the seam.
2. Remove your SIM card, Memory card and battery
3. Using the phillips head screwdriver, remove the 9 screws you see at the back and KEEP THEM SAFE
4. Remove the speaker module
You will see that the GPS antenna, which is embedded in plastic, is now visible.
Step 2: Disassembly: Expose Circuit Board
1) Start prying at the sides with your fingers OR a thin piece of plastic(eg. edge of ruler), careful not to scratch your phone
2) Remove the internal cover to expose the circuit board
On the circuit board side: At the top right hand corner, you will see the contacts from the circuit board to the GPS antenna
On the plastic side: On the top left hand corner, you will see the metal contacts to the GPS antenna
Step 3: Prepare the Aluminum Foil
Now we need two pieces of aluminum foil to fit into the recesses(shallow holes in the plastic to contain the metal contacts) of the plastic encased antenna. This increases the "thickness" of the contact and will ensure good electrical contact once the phone is pressed together again.
1) Cut two pieces of Aluminum foil measuring 1.5cm x 1.0cm (you do not need to be accurate to the milimeter)
2) Fold lengthwise.
3) Fold breadthwise.
4) Fold lengthwise.
5) Fold lengthwise.
Tip: use the edge of a clear plastic ruler to ensure that the folds are right in the center. It is also helpful because of the small size of the foil folded.
The order of fold is not crucial, as long as you get the foil to a size that will fit on the gold contacts of the plastic encased antenna. Keep comparing with the size of the contact of the plastic-encased antenna.
Step 4: Install the Foil
1) Place the two pieces of foil directly onto the metal contacts and make sure the fit snugly in the recesses of the plastic (see picture)
Step 5: Press the Two Back Together
1. Lay the plastic side on the working surface
2. Carefully place the circuit board side onto the plastic side (ensure that the foil stays in the plastic recess)
3. Press down firmly on all sides to lock the two pieces back together
Step 6: Screws Back On
Now that you have the two pieces back together again, it is time to put the screws back on.
IT IS CRITICAL for the screws to be tight. Loose screws can decrease the mounting pressure and cause poor electrical contact.
*Don't forget to install your speaker module!
Step 7: One Last Touch
To further increase the pressure on the contacts, we can add some sticky tape on top of the GPS antenna before installing the backcover. The added thickness will cause greater pressure on the plastic after the backcover is installed.
Step 8: Reinstall Memory, SIM and Battery
Reinstall your memory, SIM and battery
Step 9: Reinstall Backcover and Test
1) Reinstall the backcover
2) Power on the phone and test
Testing: I recommend downloading the app "GPS status" to assess your GPS.
Thank you for putting up with me through the long instructable. I hope this has fixed your GPS problems. If problems persist, please seek help from a professional.
Special thanks to
1) ifixit.com for their excellent pictures in the disassembly process that i have used in my instructable